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De Icaza Pleads For Mono/.Net Cooperation 262

suka writes "In a recent interview with the online edition of an Austrian newspaper, Mono project-lead Miguel de Icaza pleads for cooperation between Mono and Microsoft's .Net: 'I think that the deal should include a technical Mono/.NET collaboration, and even go as far as Microsoft recommending Mono for all of their developers looking at migration'. The whole interview has some other interesting bits, like de Icaza's thoughts on open sourced Java and information about upcoming versions of Mono."
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De Icaza Pleads For Mono/.Net Cooperation

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  • Patents, again... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:31PM (#18507941)
    I'm hoping someone with more knowledge can chime in here and shed some light on the issue of .NET patents.

    My understanding is that Mono exists because of a statement, made by Microsoft, that they won't sue for re-implementations of the ECMA-submitted components of .NET. I think this is the C# language and the CLR.

    Mono is now starting to slip into linux distributions and that worries me. Tomboy for example is the default load of Ubuntu 7.04. I'm not a rabid MS hater, but since when does a promise from Microsoft mean anything at all?

    Is there any legal protection for the Mono team and those who distribute it?

  • Instead of catch up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:33PM (#18507973) Journal
    Why not develop mono on it's own, as it's own application development platform.

    C# is a good language, having it represented outside of Windows is a good thing. Plenty of C# coders are hitting their streets, and linux could exploit that too.

    Instead of dicking around trying to recreate MSFT's libraries (Windows Forms), why not more focus on developing their OWN truly cross platform libraries, (like, say, GTK#)

    I had some success writing cross-platform apps based on GTK#, this was over a year ago, and haven't played with Mono since, I didn't want to invest too much time into something that looked like a novelty which would just be pitched.

    De Icazas focus seemed to be "do exactly what microsoft does" then, and seems so now.

    I'd take a thread safe GTK# over a half-assed wine-implementation of winforms.

    But, that's just one little bears opinion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:40PM (#18508067)

    Although our core is following .NET footsteps, Mono has an incredibly vibrant ecosystem of libraries, APIs and tools that are completely independent.

    We got libraries and components for integrating with Gtk#, the Gnome desktop, Cocoa on the Mac, Apache, Mozilla, Bittorrent, Flickr, Picassa, Google, music playback, tagging, desktop searching, media handling, GUI design and many many more.

    So Mono needs its own libraries for Apache, Bittorrent, Flickr, Google, etc. They are "independent" from .Net? I have to use one set of libraries and APIs on .Net and a different set of libraries and APIs on Mono? Where is the silver lining in that storm cloud?
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:47PM (#18508137) Homepage

    Agreed. De Icaza started out with admirable hopes of helping poor Mexican children through successful Free Software, putting a whole desktop project into motion. That he now is just a corporate shill investing all his time and energy in a misguided language project that even his GNOME colleagues don't take seriously just shows he has ceased to be a big player.

  • Re:Benefit. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vicegrip ( 82853 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:28PM (#18508671) Journal
    Perhaps, but it's narrow minded if thats the case. If Microsoft supported Mono they could point to it for those wanting an open-sourced .NET platform without having to change any of their current proprietary works.

    A simple "we will not sue" would be a nice place to start for instance. I can't see how that would be a big risk. Therefore, I can only suspect that the reason it hasn't been done yet is that certain senior management is too pig headed to admit a different strategy is needed. Java is GPLed now. Microsoft is going to need an answer sooner or later. Maybe for once they won't wait until the opposition has a huge head-start. *cough* *cough* *cough*

    It's called keeping your options open. A little bit of support now could pay off big time in the future when Microsoft gets fingered for not having an open source .NET solution.
  • by Moocow660 ( 975091 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:43PM (#18508871)
    Disclaimer: I am a C# dev working at a Microsoft Partner

    You realise that Visual Studio is mostly written in C++. .Net on any other platform won't help at all. In fact, most of Microsoft's big name products are mostly native code, and will be for a very long time - why re-write something that works?

    The big problem with 'porting' .Net as you describe is that a lot of the actual .Net framework is simply a thin veneer over win32. This means in order to 'simply' port .Net, you need to reimplement large chunks of win32 on your target platform.

    And don't even talk about .Net 3.0, a good chunk of which *is* WinFx. Do you really think Microsoft is going to implement some of its core functionality for competitor's platforms? Why would they? For that matter, why would they let someone else do it?

    No, the reason to use .Net (and the reason I have a job) is because (in my opinion) its a much better way to write windows software than using win32 directly. If you want interoperability go elsewhere, say for example the much maligned Java.
  • Re:Patents, again... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by paulxnuke ( 624084 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @07:05PM (#18509093)
    My understanding is that the "standardization" rules explicitly allow MS to charge a ("reasonable") license fee for stuff like the CLR.

    If they decided to ask one cent per application that uses the CLR on non-Windows platforms:

    • no one could call it unreasonable or exclusionary: many would say that MS deserves to be paid for their research
    • 10 cents extra / copy of the average distro is too much for most makers to absorb, and would cost several dollars to collect in addition to the user outrage involved. Likewise, how about the people who write and distribute a couple of titles?
    • a lot of the programs involved are GPL, which would cause major legal problems in addition to the price

    .NET may be the most effective weapon MS has ever had, with the least public relations liability. The last thing they want to do is cooperate with or even officially recognize a project like Mono: that's like making a pet of a cow you plan to eat in the fall.

  • by KingMotley ( 944240 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @07:06PM (#18509101) Journal
    First, .NET isn't a language. It's a platform. If you recall, Java was one of the original languages that was going to ship with .NET, but Sun threw a fit, filed a bunch of lawsuits, and Microsoft finally just took it out.

    Because Java isn't good at everything (Actually, I find it's good at very little), the .NET platform supports all of the following languages:
    Ada, APL, Basic, Boo, C, C#, C++, Cobol, Eiffel, Forth, Fortran, Haskell, IL/MSIL, J#/Java, JavaScript, LISP, LOGO, Mixal, Modula-2, Perl, Pascal, PHP, Prolog, Python, Ruby, RPG, Smalltalk, and Tcl/Tk.

    Each of them is capable of both creating and consuming code written by any of the others. So I can write in VB.NET, and use a class that was written in C#. I can package it up, and the application just works.

    A better question that you should have asked is why would we care about Java being GPL-ed when it's slower, less scalable, only supports a single language, controlled by a single vendor, and YEARS behind. When the Java language becomes forgotten (like all computer languages do) for the next best language, all your code is useless. But all my libraries are just a call away, no matter what language takes the place of what I currently use.
  • by Nicolay77 ( 258497 ) <> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @07:31PM (#18509363) Homepage
    I thing all the projects started by Icaza have been secretly backed by Microsoft (except midnight commander). This includes Gnome.

    MS monopoly is all about protecting the API. As Ballmer said: developers, developers, developers! They had one API everybody used, win32, and it was their crown jewel. As long as everybody keep developing for win32, MS would win.

    Then came Linux. If Linux distros could provide a competing API to Win32, MS would be screwed. MS solution? fragment the Linux API. You see, one of the main values of a successful API is that it's universal. So how to destroy Linux? Destroy the universality of the API. Make not one, but TWO competing APIs! Then developers would have endless religious wars and Linux would not grow as a competing commercial platform against Win32. How to do it? Make Gnome and start a religious war against the then 'closed license' QT libraries. Forward ten years and what's the result? Nobody uses either KDE or Gnome to develop commercial software, the 'developers, developers, developers' are still somewhere else. Oracle uses Java as the API when running in Linux. And who started Gnome? Icaza.

    Meanwhile Java becomes stronger against C++. Developers switch to Java.

    Now what happens, MS decides to create a new API from zero, sacrificing their beloved Win32. The new API is then called .NET. They have to do this, because they could not destroy Java. Now MS has to protect .NET, make it the universal API that every developer would use. Linux (as always) is a threat to MS. So what's MS strategy this time? The same they used against Java, just a little backwards.

    Against Java they used the embrace and extend, promoting J++, that used MS proprietary extensions to the Java language to achieve developer lock in. To protect .NET from Linux, they would do a backwards embrace an extend: give Linux a limited .NET implementation, so that developers would still be locked to .NET proprietary extensions in the Windows platform. This limited .NET implementation is MONO. And who started MONO? Icaza.

    Right now it is Java vs .NET, everywhere where developers make $$$.

    Icaza is also a strong backer of the Novel-MS deal.

    All I can see Icaza doing lately is telling everybody: "why can't we be friends?", but I seriously suspect the motives behind it.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @07:55PM (#18509619)
    Perhaps De Icaza sees or is inspired by something that others here dont recognise. that c# and the .Net framework are a genuinely beautiful techonology. its like late bound python or ruby yet is typesafe, has wonderful meta programming possibilities - dynamic properties overiding IPropertyDescriptor, and a wonderful event model using delegates - cleaner and more contained than than Qt's signals and slots mechanism for instance. also easy integration to c/c++ using MC++, now CLI in ms world or even better automatically via swig wrappers. easily configurable automatic COM IUnknown interface exposure.

    i say this as someone who at a personal level actively resists windows (10 year linuxs on personal desktop yada yada yada) and recognises ms business practices for its genuine sin and damage caused to economic welfare.

    much kudos to De Icaza for seeing the value in this technology before others. linux/unix is so missing in a good object model (corba, gobjects, java beans etc) and a good abstraction layer between high and low level object design - i just hope that this might become a standard that ms could permit to be embraced by the linux community.

  • by espressojim ( 224775 ) <> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:17PM (#18509807)
    Once upon a time, a woman was picking up firewood. She came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. She took the snake home and nursed it back to health. One day the snake bit her on the cheek. As she lay dying, she asked the snake, "Why have you done this to me?" And the snake answered, "Look, bitch, you knew I was a snake."

    -Natural Born Killers
  • by joto ( 134244 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:54PM (#18510111)

    Take GNOME, for instance. When GNOME was first established, KDE was already the premiere OSS desktop environment. There were some minor licensing issues,

    Uhm, at that time, there was no good OSS desktop environment. Sure, KDE existed. So did a bunch of others (e.g. Gnustep, CDE, various fvwm-based shit, etc...). They all sucked. KDE may have sucked a little bit less than some others, but it was far from obvious that it was what everybody should bet on (if it was, everybody would have done just that). And the licensing issues seemed pretty unsolvable at the time. It is doubtful whether Trolltech would have caved in, if it wasn't for the rise in interest in GNOME.

    Even today, we still see that GNOME has not yet caught up to KDE.

    GNOME has never been about "catching up" to KDE. When GNOME was started, KDE was ignored out of political and philosophical grounds. Since then, both GNOME and KDE has gone out of their way to emulate Microsoft Windows. Sure, some ideas might have been brought from KDE to GNOME, or in the other direction, but for the most part, ideas have been stolen from more successful commercial products, not from some hobbyist open source desktop project.

    And then we have Mono, the subject of this Slashdot topic. Again, so much valuable time and effort has been wasted on creating a product that really is of no benefit to the OSS community.

    In my opinion, Mono has a lot to offer the OSS community. Does that make one of us wrong? Yes. Is it me? No. Just because you don't find any use for it, doesn't mean that it's useless. Personally, I find C++ to be pretty useless, but I don't go around blaming the gcc developers for spending their time writing a compiler for it. And if it wasn't for gcc supporting C++, there would be no KDE either.

    Just imagine how much further along projects like KDE, Python, Perl, and Ruby would be if effort and expertise hadn't been wastefully siphoned off to GNOME and Mono.

    I have lots of trouble imagining that just because people stopped developing Mono, there would magically appear lots of worthwhile contributions to KDE, Python, Perl and Ruby instead. People work on what they want, not what you want.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @01:06AM (#18511659)
    I guess you don't remember Icaza applying for a developer position at Microsoft and getting turned down. That would be a part of the conspiracy theory, wouldn't it. Sadly, it's the true part. And the most important.
  • by WWWWolf ( 2428 ) <> on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @02:41AM (#18512153) Homepage

    This is a nice conspiracy theory, but there's one giant big thing that makes it all fall crumbling down:

    GTK+ and Qt are just GUI toolkits. The *nix APIs that are used to develop the actual application logic are the same in both cases - and the GNOME and KDE folks have also shared quite a few of the standards they've developed and will work on unifying stuff more through If you want to port an application from GTK+ to Qt or Qt to GTK+, you can do so.

    Meanwhile in Win32 land, there have also always been multiple "GUI toolkits". Nobody programmed on bare Win32 - everyone used something on top of that, and not always MFC. Even Microsoft used multiple different GUI abstractions depending on how things worked for them, and backed up whatever that helped them sell Visual Studio.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!